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The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

Is the Ludlow High School school start time too early?

The untimely 7:25 AM start proves to be an immense burden among struggling students at LHS.  
Is the Ludlow High School school start time too early?

GEarly start times have long challenged students at Ludlow High School, pushing them to their limits as they face challenges of sleep deprivation, academic failure, and irritability.  The untimely 7:25 AM start proves to be an immense burden among struggling students at LHS.  

It has been long proven that high school students are meant to attain 8-10 hours of sleep per night.  However, with the 7:25 start time, students are left struggling to reach eight hours of sleep without risking academic dissatisfaction.  Students at LHS face extreme academic pressure as they attempt to balance grades, friendships, and sports.  The extremely early start time adds more stress to the mix as students battle to obtain a healthy amount of sleep while also balancing activities and academics. 

Class secretary, dancer, and honor roll student, Madison Tereso, shared how a later start time would benefit her personal schedule and mental health.  After a grueling four-hour dance practice, it’s hard for Madison to stay up and complete hours of homework without feeling both mentally and physically drained the following day.  Madison explained how having a later school start time would lead her to achieve a, “more productive day.” 

“I just wish I had enough time to complete all my work while still going to dance practice and getting an adequate amount of sleep,” she added. This shows the effects of early start times and how they can lead to mental burnout by pushing students to their limits.  

Ludlow’s own valedictorian, dual sport athlete, and national honor society recipient, Ryan Gomes, explains how pushing back the school’s start time would help him, “better manage his time.” Loads of AP coursework, in addition to balancing both club wrestling and school tennis, lead to lots of academic stress and mental burnout.  Delaying the start time would give student-athletes like Ryan an opportunity to truly succeed without mental strain and exhaustion.  

Facing an immense amount of school work and physical activities can lead to feelings of burnout, exhaustion, and failure.  It is important that we give students enough time to properly assess their priorities and complete their work.  

After speaking to LHS varsity soccer player, student council member, and high honor roll student, Sophia Scyocurka, it is clear that a later school start time would be beneficial for high school students.  Scyocurka claims that a later start time would, “help relieve daily stress by providing more time to complete work,” adding that “sometimes it’s hard to balance practice and school; I often feel like I’m not completing my assignments to the best of my ability due to not having enough time.”  

School is proven to be extremely stressful for many students, especially high school.  It is important that as a community we are leading students to the right path to success.  However, start times have proven to impact the level of effort used on school assignments due to the sleepiness that students face.  A later start time would help students complete their assignments using 100% effort and certainty, setting them up for future success. 

After asking students about their preference on the school start times, data shows that 88% of students prefer a later start time, compared to 12% of students who would like to keep the current time.  Many students expressed their interest in the matter and advocated how a later start time would benefit not only the students but the school environment as well. 

Academic Benefits

By pushing back the school start time, it would give students more time to focus on their schoolwork.  It is hard for students to maintain relationships with friends and family while also completing school work and engaging in team sports.  It is even harder for students to do these when they are not getting the proper amount of sleep.  

Having a later start time would give hard-working students at LHS more time to focus on their schoolwork and would lead to improved grades overall.  Students wouldn’t feel as rushed while completing their work and would have time to think about their assignments, instead of thinking about rushing to get to sleep.

Due to lack of sleep and exhaustion, students are often falling asleep in class and are unable to focus.  This leads to academic failure among students and declining grades.  By pushing back the start time, it would give students the opportunity to have a normal amount of sleep which would lead to a more productive school day. 

Recent studies have shown the impact of not getting enough sleep and how truly damaging it can be on students.  Micheal Crocetti, licensed MD at John Hopkins Medicine, stresses the importance of teens obtaining 9 hours of sleep per night due to the, “second developmental stage of cognitive maturation.” 

Should Times Be Reversed?

It is scientifically proven that elementary and middle school students naturally wake up at a later time than maturing high schoolers.  This may cause you to wonder why high schoolers start so much earlier, when their bodies naturally wake up later.  It may also cause you to question if the elementary school and high school start times should be switched?

Baird Middle School teacher and Ludlow Girls Varsity Tennis coach, Mary Jordan, expresses her thoughts on the subject by saying, “I feel it would be beneficial for both students and staff to have the start times switched. It is also much more convenient for working parents.” Jordan added that it would be much more convenient for parents to be able to drop their children off earlier, on their way to work, instead of having to spend money on before-school programs or finding their child a ride to school.  Oftentimes, working parents struggle to find a balance between work and family, adding finding rides for their children to the mix makes their lives even more difficult. 

By delaying the school start time for high school students it would open doors of opportunities for students who face challenges of time management or just simply have a busy schedule.  In addition, a later start time would prevent sleep deprivation, irritability, and mental burnout.  It is important that we make the change now and grow as a society to help future scholars on their road to success. 

 

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    Taylor ColbergJun 6, 2024 at 9:56 am

    YES! I agree with this so much. Well written article Gabby!

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